Public Health Emergency Telehealth Update

Source: Newsletter, December 2021 Dept of Health & Human Services

Associated Billing Center, LLC Exclusively Serving Mental Health Practices

Currently, the COVID federal public health emergency (PHE) is still in place and, therefore, all the COVID policies still apply. The PHE is currently expected to be extended well into 2022.

Once the PHE expires, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is going to require an in-person visit within 6 months of an initial telehealth visit and every 12 months of subsequent visits. Although, there are narrow exceptions to the ‘subsequent visit requirement’ when the patient and provider agree risks and burdens of an in-person visit are outweighed by continuing via telehealth, such as possible disruptions.

Keep in mind that the visits must be paid by Medicare in order to count. The rule does allow use of audio-only for mental health, but you do need the capability of providing care via audio-video according to the rule. Additionally, if the client has a substance use disorder or co-occurring mental health disorder or lives in a rural area (as defined by Medicare) AND goes to a certain type of medical facility to connect to you via telehealth, the in-person requirement doesn’t apply.

Tips to Increase Mental Health Practice Revenue

The utilization of telehealth technology in mental health practices has, in many instances, enhanced Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) and improved practice profitability. Other suggestions for growing your revenue:

>Build an on-line presence and attract new patients.
>Renegotiate missed appointments. Attempt to reschedule a missed appointment as expeditiously as possible reducing lost billable time.
>Contract with a reputable billing service that specializes in mental health. (Suggestion: Associated Billing Center, LLC).
>Pre-qualify patients to ensure efficient, profitable appointments. By utilizing our Benefit Information Profile Page, the patient maintains a clear understanding of his or her fiduciary responsibility while seeking therapy.

Disclaimer: Please note: The editorial content of this page is in no way intended to be professional advice. It should be considered informational and a venue for entertainment purposes. Read and utilize at your own discretion. Content may not be published without the expressed consent of Associated Billing Center, LLC.